Guwahati (IANS) With the Centre and the NSCN-IM having resumed peace talks, Assam Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah is keen to resolve the Naga, ULFA, and inter-state border issues in the northeast.
Referring to his telephonic talks earlier this month with Shah, Sarma said: “We had discussed issues pertaining to enduring peace in northeast India.”
Sarma, who is also the convenor of the BJP-backed North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), also told media that the Central government has been trying whole-heartedly to solve all issues confronting northeast India.
“Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah’s leadership, already the Reang tribal refugee issues in Tripura and Mizoram, the Bodo issue in Assam, and the Inner Line Permit issue in Manipur and Mizoram have already been resolved. The focus is now on Assam and Nagaland-related issues which include inter-state border disputes,” he said.
The minister said that despite being testing positive for Covid-19, Shah did not forget the northeast.
Sarma said that the Central government is now also holding discussions with the pro-talk faction of United Liberation Front of Asom, while the outfit’s anti-talk faction, led by Paresh Baruah – who is still at large, has refused to come for talks.
According to the officials in Nagaland, currently a nine-member team of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah faction) led by chief negotiator, Th. Muivah has been holding informal talks since Monday in New Delhi with the Centre as a prelude to formal talks expected to begin after August 15.
The NSCN-IM, one of the most influential rebel groups in the northeast, has held several rounds of negotiations with the government in Delhi as well as outside India after signing a ceasefire pact in August 1997.
The Modi government had signed a “framework agreement” with the NSCN-IM in 2015.